The San Francisco International Chocolate Salon is a celebration of confections meant to sound reserved and polite, like the French fêtes that inspired it. However, there was far too much buzzing excitement among those that attended last years packed two-day event for that -- composure was largely thrown out the window once people realized how much creative, high-quality chocolate was available to sample in a relatively small space. Many of the salon exhibitors are from the Bay Area, which has been experiencing a boom of independent chocolatiers over the past few years. Expect everything from the rustic and traditional, such as the hand-rolled bites from XOX Truffles of North Beach, to visually provocative chocolates with envelope-pushing ingredients like absinthe or popping candy from Christopher Elbow, an innovator from Kansas City, MO, who recently opened a high-end shop in the Western Addition. Passions (and crowds) could be even more intense this year, as the schedule is focused to just one day.
Sun., April 13, 10 a.m., 2008